Carver Center for Arts and Technology
|George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology (since 2008)|
"Complecti Sententias Novas" ("Embracing New Ideas")
|938 York Road
Towson, Maryland, 21204-2513
|Type||Public magnet high school|
|School district||Baltimore County Public Schools, (BCoPS)|
|Superintendent||S. Dallas Dance|
|School number||(410) 887-2775|
|Grades||9-12 (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors)|
|Number of students||approximately 800|
|Color(s)||Dark green, White, and Black
George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, also known just as the Carver Center for Arts and Technology is a Baltimore County-wide public magnet high school originally established in 1993 as one of three geographically spread technology high schools, (others established earlier in 1970 were Western and Eastern Technical High Schools - [original names]). The Central Technical High School, was located in Towson, the county seat in Baltimore County, Maryland. In any given year, about 800 students attend, and typical class size is just under 20. The high school is primarily known for its "ten primes", for which students must apply in order to be accepted to the school. The school is distinguished in many categories, mainly its many art achievements.
Students from all of the middle schools throughout Baltimore County, as well as those who were "homeschooled", can apply to attend Carver C.A.T., although it may be much farther from their houses and communities than their home regional/neighborhood high school. Admission is based on a combination of an audition and a lottery.
Name Change/Historical Precedents
At the May, 2008, meeting of the Board of Education for the Baltimore County Public Schools, it was decided that upon next school year (2008-2009), The previously renamed "Carver Center for Arts and Technology" would become known as "George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology". This breaks the general policy of BCoPS of not naming schools with the first names of people rather opting towards the previous example of using only last names such as in the example of Franklin High School (the County and BCoPS oldest public high school and a descendent of the historic old private Franklin Academy) in the Reisterstown area in the northwest Baltimore County or the current Carver Center.
However, upon examination of the history of the Carver Center, the Board made the decision to change and use the full name in honor of the school's history as a previously racially-segregated school for (then known as the "Colored" high school, later "Negro"), young African Americans and to continue to recognize not only the famous American George Washington Carver, (1864-1943), himself who was a scientist, writer, and artist, but also the esteem he was held in by Baltimore County's then under-recognized black citizens who chose to name their first openly-attended public high school available to them to entitle their school with his name as the then "George Washington Carver High School". Therefore his name is fitting to be continued on this High School, which is also dedicated to the arts and technology.
Other Neighboring Similar Institutions
It is also to be noted that a much older public high school with a similar name and a long history and traditions for local African American citizens of both the County and neighboring Baltimore City. It exists just a few miles away to the southwest in West Baltimore, which is the George Washington Carver Vocational-Technical High School, (#454), at 2201 Presstman Street, at North Bentalou Street, 21216, in the Coppin Heights neighborhood. Founded 1925 as the first Afro-American vocational-type school in Maryland, GWCV-THS after suffering through hand-me-down buildings for decades, had a new, well-equipped building built in 1955, which was recently totally renovated and revamped in 2000's. Carver Vo-Tech is part of the 185-year old Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) system.
It is remembered that many Baltimore County students of color then had the opportunity to attend the excellent "colored schools" system which unfortunately also existed in the City but which were open to additional black county citizens not only at Carver Vo-Tech, but also the ancient and renowned Frederick Douglass High School in Northwest Baltimore, (founded 1883 as the "Colored Grammar and High School" on East Saratoga Street, by St. Paul Street/Place, and with earlier antecedents going back to the semi-private Douglass Institute, established 1865, first on East Lexington Street, between North Calvert Street, Davis Street (alley) and North Street (now Guilford Avenue), by the Battle Monument Square). Douglass High was attended by the cream of the City's black student elite and a "who's who" among famous graduates and the later Paul Laurence Dunbar Community High School, (#414) founded 1918/1925/1937 at 1400 Orleans Street (US 40), near North Central Avenue in East Baltimore, was also available to Baltimore County students and several numbers attended in the years before the 1950s integration.
The Carver Center employs block scheduling: periods are ninety minutes long, with four periods a day, and each class is held every other day. The third period is divided into three thirty-minute lunch periods. The shorter lunches are compensated by the longer classes. Together with five minutes between every class, this means that C.C.A.T.'s school day is slightly longer than that of the average high school.
The "Carver culture" focuses on respect. Its official rules are less strict than many high schools; for example, it has a looser dress code, and student paintings in the hallways include nudes.
What makes Carver Arts and Technology unusual among Baltimore County public schools is its strong magnet system. Carver Center's magnet programs feature ten specialty areas, or "primes": literary arts, culinary, business and information technology, carpentry, cosmetology, dance, design and production, acting, vocal music, and visual arts (art such as painting, sculpture etc.). The visual arts prime is further divided into concentrations, including drawing and painting, multimedia, photography, sculpture, and telemedia.
As of the 2007-2008 school year General Fine Arts/Multimedia/Digital Filmmaking (formerly known as Telemedia) will hold separate auditions under the Visual Arts prime. This provides for an opportunity for students interested in the areas of filmmaking and graphic design to come to Carver C.A.T. for these areas and use these mediums to create art. All Visual Arts students will still be encouraged to take classes in drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, etc.
As of the 2001-2002 school year "theatre" and "technical theatre" were advanced to become the theatre primes of "Acting" and "Design & Production." This provided an opportunity for students interested in performance, design, theatre management and administration, technique, etc. to study these fields without the common stereotypes or restrictions of "actors" or "techies." During the 2005-2006 school year, "Vocal Music" was considered to be renamed "Singing" (but remains listed in the curriculum as "Vocal Music").
The following sports are available at Carver:
Carver's football team was disbanded in 1998, after a few unsuccessful years. Carver does not currently have a football team. However, it still holds an annual Homecoming dance after a Homecoming sports game (could be soccer, field hockey, etc.) or no sports game at all. It is run by the Student Government Association and is usually a dance that is a fundraiser for the SGA.
The school's mascot is the wildcat; female teams, such as the girls' volleyball, basketball or soccer teams, are referred to as "Lady Wildcats". The girls' varsity soccer team have been division champions for the past three years and came in second on the regional level. The girls' varsity lacrosse team has also been division champs the past 3 years. The boys' varsity soccer team had posted a 6-6 record in the Fall of 2012, avoiding a losing record for the first time in decades.
The varsity golf team won an award for having the highest GPA of any of the fall sports teams in Baltimore County.
Carver also has a Model United Nations program (formerly run by Scott Snyder, currently led by Hugh Kearney) that participates in many inter-scholastic activities, and a new Mock Trial team (run by Sal Giordano, social studies' department chair) that is slowly blossoming. Carver has a kinetic sculpture/engineering club, and an "It's Academic" TV quiz show team, which participates on local station WJZ-TV, Channel 13.
The Culinary Arts Prime has also recently won the Statewide competition for ProStart and traveled to Nationals for the second year in a row.
The Center also has a Vex Robotics team competing in all major competitions in the region.
In March 2008, Baltimore County and the Baltimore County Public Schools approved a new building design for Carver. Expected to be completed "by March 2012", the new school will be built on a budget of $58.7 million. The construction process will be a "site swap" where the new building will be built up on the current lacrosse and soccer fields and the original older school building will be torn down; then the athletic fields for the new Carver will be located where the old school used to be. The design reflects the large number of program areas that are required to be located on the first floor while creating an efficient 3-story academic wing above that maximizes daylighting opportunities for the classroom areas and public spaces.
There will also be a new engaging "Central Space" that will be bordered by the 1,000 seat Theater, the Black Box Theater, Gallery space and the Culinary Arts program and Café.
The groundbreaking took place at 10:30 a.m. on September 15, 2009.
The new school building will have an energy efficiency that exceeds industry standards by means of high efficiency equipment, high insulation thermal values, high shading coefficient glazing, solar shading devices and energy recovery features for both exhausted air and waste water. It has been given a "Silver LEED" award, denoting its "green" standard.
In August 2012, students began their very first day in the new building.
Carver produced nine "Presidential Scholars" including: J. Cook in 2000, (Abdi) Farah (also one of ARTS winners) in 2005, and Alex Levy (2008). Carver Center’s arts award winners have also included 4 "Scholastics Gold Portfolio" winners, 116 "ARTS" winners (including 60 finalists), approximately 88 "Maryland Distinguished Scholar" finalists (including yearly the largest number of finalists in Maryland), and 22 "Marie Walsh Sharpe Scholars". Carver has produced numerous winners in the "Arts Recognition and Talent Search", a program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
Five nominees for presidential scholars in 2008 were produced by Carver Center for A. & T. That was more than any other school in the country.
The interdisciplinary methods of the magnet arts and technology high school have also led to consistent student participation in the annual NAACP's "ACT-SO" (Afro-American Cultural and Technical Scientific Olympics) competitions. Students often qualify at the national level and have a strong showing in state competitions.
Theresa McDaniel, a painting and drawing teacher, has been nominated five times for the "Distinguished Teachers in the Arts" award, and won it once. Photography teacher Carrol Cook, and Visual Arts chair Joe Giordano have both been nominated twice but neither have ever won. In 2004 Carver not only had the most visual art entrants in the national art competition 'ARTS', (which is a national art competition for high school seniors who excel at Dance, Film & Video, Jazz, Music, Theater, Photography, Visual Arts, Voice, and Writing) but had the most entrants from any one school in the U.S.A. In 2007, more Carver students received awards in the NFAA competition than in any other year.
Although only twenty years old so far as an institution, the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology is already beginning to amass a significant number of successful alumni:
- James Ransone (1997 Graduate), starred in Cable TV HBO's "The Wire", Generation Kill, the film Inside Man, the film Sinister, the film Ken Park, the film Broken City, and the cable TV HBO series "Treme".
- Larry Mercer (1999 Graduate), is a professional wrestling Ring Announcer with Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW), and other independent wrestling promotions. He was featured as Ring Announcer in the professional wrestling film, The Wrestler, directed by Darren Aronofsky.
- Abdi Farah (2005 Graduate), winner of the cable TV channel Bravo's "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist".
- "Carver Center Website". Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "Carver's profile at the Baltimore County Schools' site". Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "2010 Maryland Report Card". Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- Carver Center Website
- Baltimore County Public Schools website
- Visual Artist Forums
- Carver Center Foundation
- 2009 Maryland Report Card for Carver
- Carver's profile at the Baltimore County Schools' site
- Carver Theatre Company site (abridged)